Development and Beneficial Outcomes of the International Collaborative OPCARE9
International Young Researchers Going Hand in Hand
Conference Paper/Poster - May 19, 2011
Raijmakers Natasja JH, Bragg Colin, Domeisen Benedetti Franzisca, Galushko Maren, Jorge Margarita, Lindqvist Olav, Lundh Hagelin Carina, Popa Velea Ovidiu, Schuler Stefanie
Introduction: OPCARE9 is a 3 year EU 7th framework project that was launched in March 2008. The aim for the 9 participating countries is to optimise research and clinical care for cancer patients in the last days of life. Early in the project, it became evident that, besides the Project Steering Group(PSG), an interconnection on the operational level was helpful. For this reason, a group of young researchers from the 5 primary work packages was established in October 2008; the Scientific Project Assistants Group(SPAG).
The objectives of SPAG were to consolidate and standardize research methodologies throughout the project, support and learn from each other, be a channel for fast and easy contact and to avoid duplication of work. The purpose is to describe what can be learned form the development process of SPAG.
Development: At this moment SPAG consists of 3 senior lecturers and 6 junior researchers with different levels of experience and professions (social scientist, physician, nurse and social worker). Besides the inperson meetings, every six months in OPCARE9, additional communication tools used are e-mail, a dedicated web-based forum for sharing documents and discussions, and web meetings (26 to date).
Topics discussed were methodologies and progress across the collaborative, collaboration on quality indicators and communication with PSG. Also, to ensure the connection between management and the operational level, one SPAG member is serving 6 months as representative in the PSG.
Outcomes:During 24 months of existence, a certain legitimacy of SPAG has been accomplished. SPAG resulted in an active, international collaborative network of young researchers, with the ambition to collaborate on future projects and to keep interacting after the end of OPCARE9. Clearly, the development of this structure has been an ongoing creative and inspiring learning process. Thus, every extensive collaborative should consider to empower their younger researchers in such way.